Memmo Alfama Hotel
If you’ve been to Lisbon, you’ve probably already explored the historic Alfama neighborhood, one of Lisbon’s oldest, but even if you haven’t you’ve more than likely seen images of the red rooftops, white and pink buildings and the shimmering Tagus River. The Memmo Alfama, a sleek 4- star boutique hotel, sits directly in the heart of the Alfama in a carefully restored 19th century building that was once a factory and now a perfect base for exploring this picturesque Lisbon neighborhood.
The steep and twisty switchback streets of the Alfama make arriving at the hotel by car somewhat of an adventure, but will give you a bumpy glimpse of the surrounding neighborhood, which is steps away from the cathedral and São Jorge castle. Typical of the area, the Memmo Alfama is tucked away, like a hidden treasure, on a narrow street at the top of one of Lisbon’s many hills.
This contemporary hotel has an authentic, but minimalist feel with beautifully appointed rooms that feel sleek, crisp, and cool. The design of the hotel has a certain charm to it and feels more like staying with a good friend in their Portuguese home, than it does a 42 room hotel.
The Memmo Alfama terrace is special, and a favorite sundowner spot for Lisbonites, offering one of Lisbon’s most picturesque views over the Alfama neighborhood and a stylish place to relax in the infinity pool, sip on a cocktail, and enjoy some tapas. If you stay at the hotel, plan to spend most of your evenings on the terrace waiting for the sun to set- it’s hard to beat.
I went with the recommendations of the friendly bartender and enjoyed the Mini Burger on Brioche Bread with Carmelized Onions and a cocktail called the DND (do not disturb), which craftily mixes the perfect combination of lemon juice, whisky, ginger beer, rosemary and other secret ingredients that add to your enjoyment of the pool and terrace, but do not help with jet lag.
I recommend spending your days exploring the labyrinth of medieval paths and alleyways, tiny plazas, and hidden gems. Exploring on foot is rewarding with photo-worthy shops, cafes, and buildings at every turn. If you need to rest your legs, try taking the historic tram, which winds through Alfama on its way up to the 11th century São Jorge Castle.
One thing to note: Leave the kids at home. Memmo Alfama does not allow children under 16 to stay at the hotel.